Dolls’ House Update: Cats and Sofas
Work on the dolls’ house project has been slow of late. Lack of time continues to be an issue, but my own crapness also plays a role. Working on the dolls’ house requires craft skills. You need patience, manual dexterity and skills in analytical planning. I seem to possess none of these traits.
The house is now erected and mostly decorated, and my lack of skill is apparent. There are air bulges in the wallpaper. The floors sag, and I have no idea why, or how to fix them. None of the corners align properly, and the thing just generally looks lopsided.
I continue to attend monthly meetings of my dolls’ house club – though admittedly I tend to make less than half of them every year. I was hoping to pick up tips. However, everyone else there seems to be so much better at this sort of stuff than I am, and the kind of tips I need are so basic that it never seems to occur to anyone that I might not know how to do this sort of stuff. I guess it’s kind of like joining a football team – there will be an assumption that anyone wanting to join the team already knows how to play the game, and I come in not even knowing you’re supposed to kick the ball.
However, in spite of the house not being finished yet I have been collecting various bits of furniture over the years. Yesterday my dolls’ house club went on an excursion to the Miniatura show in Birmingham. We’ve done this before, and it always feels a bit like a school field trip. We all meet at the allocated meeting point at 8:30am, armed with packed lunches. We board the mini-bus and go off on a jolly trip to the show, and at the end of the day we are dropped off again, tired and happy.
The Miniatura show is full of wondrous things. Most of the vendors are dolls’ house enthusiasts who enjoy making tiny accessories and selling them on – everything you could possibly want for your house you can generally find there, from scaled-down tins of beans and chocolate bars to actual working dolls’ house sized television sets. Every period is catered for. Most people seem to prefer their dolls’ house to be nostalgic – Victorian or Tudor period, say. Mine is contemporary. Contemporary accessories can be found, but are not as popular. Generally my experience has been if you browse a show and see something you like, buy it then and there because you never know when you’ll see it again. On this latest trip to Miniatura I found a black leather sofa and matching armchairs that I thought would look perfect in my house. So I bought them.
I have set them up in my dolls’ house living room, along with the flat screen TV I bought at a previous show. The furniture is looking pretty good, but the room itself is not yet finished. If you look closely at the top right-hand corner of the picture you will see one of my mistakes. When I put up the coving on the ceiling, I sawed the wood straight across and glued it in place, before realising that I should have cut it at an angle, in order to fit the coving along the back panel that makes up the back wall of the house. And then I couldn’t take it off without pulling off all the wall and ceiling paper, and that took a long time to affix. It’s the sort of mistake I typically make in this project because I really have no idea what I’m doing, and I’m still not sure how I’m going to fix it.
This picture also features the sole occupant of the dolls’ house. Thus far I have not found any other figures to complete this household. I haven’t found any child dolls in modern dress I like yet, and the male dolls just never seem to look right – somehow they all come out looking like women with short hair. I am considering making my house an all-female household.
Thus far, this lone woman doll occupies the house with two cats, complete with kitty accessories, and these are pictured below. The scratching post and the bag of kitty kibble I found at the Miniatura fair and I thought they were so cute. It might be hard to tell from the picture, but everything is 1/12th scale – so an inch represents a foot. I am particularly impressed with the scratching post.
So my dolly household contains a lady with two cats – which some might say is just perfect as it is, even if the house acquires no further occupants. I already have a set of bunk beds, though, and quite a lot of dolls’ house size toys and games, so could do with a couple of child dolls.
1/12th scale is the traditional dolls’ house scale, but 1/24th and 1/48th scale dolls’ house furniture are becoming increasingly popular – I think this is mostly due to the fact that they take up less space. I am really not fond of these smaller scales – that’s just too tiny for my liking, especially when it’s me that has to fiddle around placing the accessories. A steady hand I do not have.
I fear the finished house is going to look just a bit ramshackle, and I’m not really enjoying the actual building, since I’m so crap at it. The furniture and accessories, however – that’s the fun part.